1-800-GET-THIN - Study Says Many People Are Not To Blame For Dieting Failures

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Hormones Make It Harder For Dieters To Lose Weight By Signaling The Body To Eat More: Study in the New England Journal of Medicine. After struggling for years, a woman says the Lap-Band has given her a whole new life.

It’s no secret that obesity is a major health problem in the U.S.

Los Angeles - A recent study provides another reminder that losing weight is hard for many people, and maintaining that weight loss is even more difficult. The study, from the University of Melbourne's Department of Medicine and recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that for at least a year, subjects who lost weight on a low-calorie diet felt hungrier than they were before they started and actually had higher levels of certain hormones that signal the body to eat more, conserve energy and pack away fuel as fat.

“This study helps explain why about 4 out of 5 dieters end up gaining back the weight they lost within a year and, sometimes even add on a few extra pounds as well,” says Los Angeles bariatric surgeon Dr. Lee Au. “It’s often not their fault.”

“That was definitely my experience,” says Melissa Acevedo, a 35 year-old mom from Covina, CA who lost over 65 pounds with the Lap-Band after nine years of yo-yo dieting, losing weight repeatedly then seeing it all come back each time. “I struggled tremendously,” says Melissa. “ I would lose ten or fifteen pounds, then my weight loss would just stop, even though I was sticking to my diet and exercise routine. I went through all the well-known diet plans and exercise programs, and it was a constant struggle. After seeing how well my cousin did with the Lap-Band, I called 1-800-GET-THIN to learn more. I attended a seminar which featured a doctor who gave the audience lots of information and answered everyone’s questions. I decided that I would have it done, and now my life is completely different. I know I can keep the weight off.”

The Lap-Band procedure is an FDA approved surgical procedure performed with the use of general anesthesia where a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach. The procedure is a “laparoscopic” surgery done with a few tiny incisions. The Lap-Band works by reducing the amount of food that the stomach can hold at one time, helping a person to gradually lose weight and keep it off without the need for stomach cutting or stapling. A person who has had the Lap-Band procedure will feel full faster and the feeling of fullness will last longer so the person will eat less, but will still feel satisfied.

The study enrolled 50 obese men and women without major health problems and put them on a strict low-calorie diet for eight weeks. Within two weeks after subjects completed that diet, and again one year later, researchers measured blood levels of nine hormones that affect appetite and metabolism, and interviewed each subject about his or her feelings of hunger after meals, between meals and as mealtime approached.

The challenges of controlling hunger became apparent in the study. Thirty-four of 50 subjects made it to the one-year mark. Of those who remained, the average weight loss at 10 weeks, when hormone levels were first measured, was just short of 30 pounds. One year out, those subjects had gained back an average of just over 12 pounds. But after and between meals, their appetites — and the hormones that influence hunger — rebounded even more strongly. A full year after they had completed their crash diets and were struggling to maintain their loss, that mixture of hormones was sending a single message, loud and clear after every meal: Eat more food.

“It’s no secret that obesity is a major health problem in the U.S.,” says Dr. Au. “Millions are spent each year on diet programs and pills. However, studies such as this one continue to show that many obese patients are unable to lose weight and keep the weight off with diet and exercise alone. For those patients, the Lap-Band procedure can be a very good option.”

About 1 800 Get Thin:
1 800 GET THIN has assisted thousands of people in Southern California to find new health, a better life, and lose weight by putting them in touch with weight-loss professionals and related facilities. For more information visit http://www.1800getthin.com or call 1-800-GET-THIN. All individuals should consult their physician prior to any weight loss program. Studies indicate that individuals can achieve 30-50% excess weight loss at 3 years. 

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Robert Silverman
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